‘Planetary Parks’ Could Protect Space Wilderness
It’s a wilderness out there in outer space. And as robotic surrogates set the stage for human footprints on Mars and other planetary bodies, just how much respect for other worlds should we have? One suggested response would establish planetary parks for the solar system, an answer that ties together space science and exploration, ethics, law, policy, diplomacy and communications.
The parks would be organized under a single management system, with clear regulations for protection and use. But just what are the benefits of establishing a park system on target planets and moons before starting an intense program of exploration, and exploitation, of bodies in our solar system?